Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Barbara Creecy, has launched a R44.5 million National Waste Management Fleet at Mulenzhe village in the Collins Chabane Local Municipality, Limpopo.
The National Waste Management Strategy was revised in 2020 and focuses on improving household waste collection; diverting waste from landfills; promoting a circular economy and promoting community awareness of the effects of illegal dumping on their own health and on the environment.
Speaking at the launch on Monday, Creecy said that to achieve the goals of National Waste Management Strategy, all stakeholders must play their part and emphasised that national and provincial government must support municipalities to develop local integrated waste management strategies.
“We must ensure our landfills comply with the regulatory environment and waste does not leach into ground water or into the soil. We must invest in the yellow fleet and every year we must ensure more and more homes have access to safe waste disposal,” Creecy said.
She also emphasised that private sector must promote the circular economy and divert waste from landfills, as government has already set up the regulatory environment for extended producer responsibility schemes to promote re-cycling in the packaging, electronics and lighting industries with recent regulations gazetted for new sectors, including used oil and pesticides.
“Government and the private sector must work with waste reclaimers so that we build a dignified waste reclaiming industry that promotes waste diversion from landfills, promotes the circular economy and gives a decent livelihood to the tens of thousands of men and women who do the daily back-breaking work of the recycling industry,” Creecy said.
To improve waste management in municipalities, the Minister said the department is assisting in the development of their Integrated Waste Management Plans, and training on sustainable waste management practices.
“We have also co-operated with National Treasury and the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) to change the Municipal Infrastructure Grant policy so that municipalities can now access this grant to fund their yellow fleet.
“To highlight and raise awareness on the amendments of the Municipal Infrastructure Grant policy, the department has used R44.5million of our own money to provide 24 vehicles to 20 municipalities across the country. The vehicles include Skip Loader Trucks, Front End Loaders, compactor trucks, TLBs and other trucks required to transport waste within these areas,” Creecy said.
Collins Chabane Local Municipality has received a compactor truck and a skip loader, together valued at more than R5 million to assist in waste collection and the processing of waste at landfill.
Ba-Phalaborwa Local Municipality received a waste compactor truck and a TLB truck with a combined value of nearly R4 million. – SAnews.gov.za